The five elements: space, air, fire, water, earth

What Ayurveda Dosha Type Are You?

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By Maddie Santiago

 

The ancient Indian healing science of Ayurveda focuses on the wellness and balance of the mind, body, and environment. In order for Ayurveda to apply to you in particular, you have to know your dosha, otherwise known as your mind-body type. The three fundamental forces, or doshas, are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas are derived from the five elements: earth, fire, water, air, and space. While our bodies contain all elements, one dosha in particular is dominant. Knowing your dominant dosha can help you create a purposeful lifestyle that maintains your health. Without further ado, here are summaries on the three doshas to help you learn your dosha type.

Vata

The air and space elements combine to make Vata. Vatas are typically very tall or very short, slender, and fast-walkers. They normally have dry, dull, and rough skin. Their small amount of hair is often dry and wiry. They have protruding joints, features that tend to be irregular, and small and narrow eyes. They oftentimes have cold hands and feet and don’t like cold climates. They tend to have an irregular daily schedule especially when it comes to eating and sleeping.

When in balance they are full of joy and enthusiasm. They are quick learners, but also quick to forget. Due to their irregular schedules, they like constant change and excitement in their lives. They act on impulse, have quickly changing moods and emotions, and often have racing, disorganized thinking patterns. Vatas experience short bursts of high energy and a tendency to overexert and tire easily. In times of stress or imbalance, Vatas respond with fear, worry, or anxiety.

Pitta

Fire and water elements combine to form Pitta. A Pittas body is a strong and well-built, medium physique. They have strong digestion and appetite and tend to get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal. Hot weather or too much such exposure make them uncomfortable and very tired. They also perspire a lot. When they are woken up in the middle of the night, it’s typically from feeling too hot. Their skin is usually fair or reddish, often with freckles and the tendency to sunburn. Common physical issues consist of rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, skin cancer, heartburn, ulcers, acidic stomach, insomnia, and dry eyes.

Pittas have a sharp mind and good concentration powers. They are focused, assertive, self-confident, tend to be good public speakers, and sometimes have an entrepreneurial spirit. They generally have good management and leadership abilities. They are competitive and enjoy challenges, but they have been known to be aggressive, demanding, impatient, and pushy when out of balance. In relationships they are passionate and romantic. When under stress, Pittas quickly become irritated, and angry.

Kapha

Water and Earth elements combine to make Kapha. They are physically strong and with a heavier build, and can tend to be overweight. They have soft hair and skin, large eyes, and a low, soft voice. They typically don’t like cold and damp weather. They have the most energy of all the doshas, but it is steady and long-lasting. They tend have good health and a strong immune system. Common physical problems consist of slow digestion, colds, congestion, sinus headaches, and respiratory problems like allergies and asthma.

In terms of personality, Kaphas are easygoing, calm, relaxed, gentle, compassionate, and forgiving. In relationships, they tend to be affectionate, loving, reliable, and faithful. Overall they have a slow-paced and undemanding approach to life; they are slow to wake up, have slow speech with a deliberate thought process, are slow learners, and have a great long-term memory. Kaphas strive to retain harmony and peace in their life. They are not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others, but they can be prone to depression.

Once you know your dosha type, you can practice Ayurveda techniques to balance the mind and body. Ayurveda will tell you which practices will work best for you, according to your dosha type. There are different practices for each dosha for many things like what to eat, what to do according to time of day, causes of irritability or displeasure, and much more. Practicing Ayurveda techniques according to your dosha type will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle that’s best for you.

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